MauPass has been developed for citizens and businesses to transact easily and securely with Government online. It is a single window of authentication service to provide a layered approach towards e-Authentication implementation for all government and other e-services. This initiative follows an urgent need for better identity and access management for a trusted ecosystem.
There was a need for better identity and access management to create a trusted digital ecosystem where citizens and businesses can transact easily and securely with Government. Initially, the risk of impersonation was quite substantial, i.e. a user could illegally transact online on Government systems on behalf of another without the latter being aware of it.
In this context, MauPass has been developed as a single window of authentication service to provide a layered approach towards e-Authentication implementation for all Government and other e-services. It also provides 2FA for e-services requiring higher level of assurance and mechanisms that support non-repudiation.
- Level 0 - No assurance of identity is required
- Level 1 - Minimal level of assurance of identity is required - MauPass provides for username/password based authentication (1FA)
- Level 2 - Significant level of assurance of identity is required - MauPass provides for 2FA (SMS, Mobile App and e-mail)
- Level 3 - Substantial level of assurance of identity is required - MauPass may provide for Biometrics in the future.
For instance, a user wishing to keep a digital version of the extract of their birth certificate in their MoKloud digital safe would be required to follow a 2FA (Level 2) authentication to confirm their identity through a One-Time-Password (OTP) sent as an email to their inbox or an SMS to their mobile phone or a code generated by a mobile authentication. For 2FA authentication, prior KYC (Know-Your-Customer) registration at a Mauritius Post outlet is required. However, for example, payment of Motor Vehicle Licence online (Level 1) does not require the user to confirm their identity through an OTP.
To ensure easier/quicker access to government services in rural/urban areas of the country, Government has established Service Centres through the Mauritius Post as common service delivery outlets where citizens can access all government services over the internet. Users can go to any Mauritius Post outlet to:
- Access e-services through a dedicated kiosk
- Activate their 2FA after KYC registration
- Use 2FA to access sensitive e-services at home (e.g. access Birth Certificate/Marriage Certificate/Driving License/other official government documents online via MauPass (https://maupass.govmu.org/LandingPage) and MoKloud (https://mokloud.govmu.org)
- Use MauPass to perform e-signing via https://web-front-mausign.govmu.org/main.sg (test system, under development)
Maupass allows Government to confidently deploy sensitive e-services that handle personal information of citizens (e.g. enable citizens to access online birth certificates, online marriage certificates, digital vaccination passes, to perform e-signing, etc.). When users log in using their MauPass accounts, their data (name, surname, address, ID No., etc.) are validated by MauPass through the Central Population Database. Once the users are authenticated, the various e-services can securely pull their data through MauPass. Consequently, all online forms become pre-populated and the users do not have to fill in bulky forms.
All these features make of MauPass an innovative solution which benefits citizens, businesses and Government. Government is targeting to integrate MauPass across e-services in Mauritius. Some of the e-services include:
- Access to the MoKloud digital safe for downloading official documents in digital format
- Application for learner’s driving licence
- Application for a post at the Public Service Commission
- Booking of an appointment on the MoRendezVous platform
- Access to the Supreme Court portal for viewing cause list, case law, legislation and other documents like research papers
- Access to e-payslip of Government official
- Application for leave on the Government e-HR self service portal
- Payment of Motor Vehicle Licence online
Maupass uses MSSQL Server relational database management system. The system also interfaces with the Acuant Trusted Identity Platform Identity Verification and Document Authentication.
Government is contemplating to bring further innovation to the MauPass service with the introduction of new features like:
- Passwordless authentication
- Biometric based authentication
- Face Verification technology with the ability to determine if an individual's face is an actual person, and not a photograph, mask, or digital spoof, and authenticate that it is not a deepfake or injected video
The Ministry of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation has introduced a new feature that allows for e-KYC. Thus, foreigners and Mauritian citizens abroad are now able to avail of Mauritius e-services requiring 2FA remotely following e-KYC registration without having to call at a Mauritius Post outlet. The e-KYC uses the Acuant cloud service to compare a live selfie of the user with the information on his National ID/Passport document and confirm his identity. MauPass is inspired from the SingPass digital identity system of Singapore.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
MauPass is a single window authentication service which can be integrated in any application to authenticate the user. Service providers are thus relieved of the task of having to develop the interface for authentication within their applications. In addition, the risk of impersonation is eliminated, especially for systems requiring high level of assurance, since prior KYC registration of the user has already been carried out. Furthermore, users no longer have to remember numerous credentials for accessing the various online services. When filing an application online, their forms are pre-filled with their basic civil data like name, surname, address and National ID Number, which are retrieved from the Central Population Database upon validation, hence triggering faster processing of applications and eliminating the risk of errors. Faster processing implies optimized use of resources being employed. It is also observed that MauPass has caused a boosting up of the take-up of online services.
What is the current status of your innovation?
It is observed that the take-up of online services is gaining ground, as the digital space is becoming more and more trusted with the use of MauPass. Also, no cases of impersonation have been reported on e-services making use of the MauPass authentication interface. It is perceived that the MauPass service will engender online business opportunities as the digital ecosystem becomes safer with the deployment of MauPass across all online services.
Currently, users need to call at a Mauritius Post office outlet for KYC registration in order to avail of online services using 2FA. Recently, e-KYC has been introduced, which allows users to authenticate themselves using biometrics and liveness test. Thus, foreigners and Mauritian citizens abroad are now able to avail of Mauritius e-services requiring 2FA remotely following e-KYC registration without having to call at a Mauritius Post outlet.
Collaborations & Partnerships
The Ministry of IT germinated the idea of the system for authentication of users accessing online services. Central Informatics Bureau prepared the technical specifications. nVisionIT was awarded the contract. Government Online Centre allocated the infrastructure for accommodating server and communication equipment. Staff of the Ministry, Government officials from other Ministries, and stakeholders from the private sector were actively involved in the testing stage of the project prior to go-live.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
- Trust in the digital environment enhanced for the benefit of user ministries, citizens and businesses
- Take-up of online services of user ministries was increased
- Optimised use of resources at counters resulted in the redeployment of staff for other duties
- User ministries were relieved of the task of maintaining queues at counters
- Increased take-up has a bearing on the minimization of the costs of travel, parking, and other associated expenses for the benefit of users and drivers
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The take-up of online services has increased considerably resulting in cost savings for Government, citizens and businesses. For instance, statistical records of the Government Online Centre reveal that the hit rate of access to the MoKloud digital safe has increased from 2067 in January 2022 to 12,172 in September 2022. In addition, the risk of impersonation in the usage of online services has been greatly minimized. No filing of such cases have been recorded on the Mauritian Cybercrime Reporting System (MAUCORS). The introduction of e-KYC registration will further enhance the MauPass service for foreigners and Mauritian citizens abroad. We can imagine cost savings in terms of air travel.
Challenges and Failures
During testing, inconsistencies falling outside the implementation of MauPass service were encountered, giving rise to adverse critics on the service. Names or addresses of users did not match the records of the Civil Status Division. Before the advent of MauPass, some users stopped using the online mode for accessing Government services because of forgotten passwords. As a result, they were unwilling to join the services online again even with the MauPass interface. Some user Ministries were not willing to remove their user registration interface from their online services and wanted to keep both theirs and MauPass as well. Some legacy/proprietary systems did not support current authentication protocols. Secured token-based protocols have had to be developed to allow integration. nVision IT was solicited to address the above issues and a digital marketing campaign was led by the Ministry of IT for the use of MauPass. The service was launched successfully in December 2020.
Conditions for Success
The success of the implementation of MauPass resides in a number of enabling factors which were already in place Fibre and mobile connectivity has already reached 100% coverage across Mauritius since 2017, and is thus within the reach of all users on the island. The Ministry of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation has set up the InfoHighway for data sharing and interoperability between Government agencies, which was leveraged for MauPass to access users' information for verification from the Civil Status Division. A digital marketing campaign was conducted by the Ministry of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation indicating the potential benefits for all stakeholders. The budget for integration of MauPass with the online services of other Ministries was allocated centrally to the Ministry of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation. The success of Maupass will have a cascading effect on the success of other systems requiring authentication of users.
MauPass has been developed for securing access to Government online services in Mauritius. Likewise, the service may be replicated for private institutions to minimize the risk of impersonation on their information systems. At a higher level, the MauPass system may be shared with surrounding countries to better secure the digital ecosystem of the region.
MauPass has enabled us to identify weaknesses in other online systems as a result of their increased take-up. Also, such an innovation has had the potential of accelerating the deployment of other innovative solutions like the MoKloud platform for providing a digital safe to each citizen for the safekeeping of their official documents in digital format as well as secure access to the MauSign website for the purchase of digital certificates online.
Government is deploying MauPass to other online services resulting in a high take-up of those services. Public service delivery is enhanced considerably as a result of an optimized use of resources. MauPass service will soon be extended to corporates to avail of Government online services. In addition, users will be able to share their basic civil data like names, surnames, addresses, ID numbers, etc., retrieved from MauPass in the form of QR Codes at service counters.
- Identifying or Discovering Problems or Opportunities - learning where and how an innovative response is needed
- Generating Ideas or Designing Solutions - finding and filtering ideas to respond to the problem or opportunity
- Implementation - making the innovation happen
- Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed
- Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways
27 November 2023